Snowshoeing Short Break


Holiday Overview

Three full days of exhilerating snowshoeing taking in the fresh clean alpine air and admiring the beauty of the pristine winter wildernesses of the Southern Alps!

Three full days of exhilerating snowshoeing taking in the fresh clean alpine air and admiring the beauty of the pristine winter wildernesses of the Southern French Alps! Snowshoeing has to be one of the best ways to explore the mountains in winter.

There are hundreds of beautiful snowshoe walks and our guides will choose the most suitable routes for the group and conditions. You can walk through forests, around frozen lakes, across open snow meadows, up to a summit, over a col or along the valley floor with the mountains in all their winter glory towering over you. You can even go out for a moonlit snowshoe.

We use fully qualified UIAGM high mountain guides for our long weekend snowshoeing trips with your safety being their top priority.

This qualification is the highest of all guiding qualifications in the mountains and whilst you won't be doing any alpinism on this trip, the knowledge and experience of a high mountain guide means he has the competence, knowledge and expertise to take you further into the mountains safely. Other qualifications for snowshoeing are limited to the wide valley bottoms and pisted routes in nordic areas.

Have a look at our snowshoeing kit list for advice on what to pack.

You may also be interested in our Snowshoeing Week .

Itinerary

Overview

The Champsaur and Valgaudemar valleys are situated just on the edge of the Ecrins National Park and remain one of the true winter wildernesses and wildlife refuges of the Alps.

There are numerous possibilities for snowshoeing in and around the area and this itinerary is just an example. In reality when you are here, the guides will decide where to go to make the most of the conditions of the day.

All our guides are fully qualified UIAGM high mountain guides. They will have your safety and enjoyment as their priority through out the trip.

Day 1 - Arrival

We'll welcome you at your accommodation,  go through the holiday with you and bring your snow shoes to try on! Depending on what time you arrive you can go for a short walk around the area, visit the local village or just relax in your accommodation and drink in the views!

Day 2 - Champoleon Valley

Full day introduction to snowshoeing, winter wild life and snow safety.

The Champoleon valley is a wild winter wilderness frequented by chamois and ibex. It is walled by 3000 meter peaks with a river along the valley bottom, a scattering of traditional alpine villages, trees and cliffs.

There are several walks to be done in this valley including a fabulous snowshoe up to the plateau of La Coche. The guide will decide on the day where will be best. You'll be looking out for signs of wildlife and if you're lucky you'll get to see the chamois frolicking in the snow. This will be a gentle start to your holiday, to help you get used to wearing snowshoes and warm up your walking legs. The guide will also explain the safety of the mountains in winter - useful knowledge to have!

Day 3 - Col de Pourrachiere

This is a big but very rewarding day out up to the col de Pourrachiere 2173m. This snow shoe walk starts off following the beautiful Rouanne valley from Ancelle. Then about half way up you start to climb, zig zagging through mixed forest with a view of a dramatic cliff face (Le Lauterat) across the valley.

Then as the woods start to thin you walk out on to open snow fields with magnificent views all around you up to the col de la Pourachiere at 2173m.

What better place to eat your picnic with views over two the Gapencais and Champsaur valleys. Then it is all down hill and on snow shoes you can slide, run, jump and generally have lots of fun getting down the mountain - the snow is very forgiving!

Day 4 - Summit of La Palastre

A beautiful and very rewarding day out up to the summit of La Palastre at 2278m.

It is a gradual ascent through open snow fields and rocky outcrops with beautiful views over the Champsaur valley - about 720m of ascent in total. You will see ice falls, woods, interesting rock formations and magnificent views so plenty of opportunities to stop and admire the scenery, look out for animal tracks and take photos.

After reaching the col for a well deserved picnic lunch in the sun, you head up to the summit for that real top of the world feeling! Then it is all down hill and by now you wil have masterd the downhill techniques of snowshoeinga dn will have loads of fun!  A really good day out in the mountains!!

Reviews

Zlata Bayandina - Snowshoeing Holiday

January 2014

I enjoyed the snowshoeing holiday a lot. Everything was organized and managed well. I appreciate for the individual and...

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Alastair Barclay - Snowshoeing Holiday

January 2014

We enjoyed our holiday very much thank you. It is a good location with an interesting variety of walks. Definitely off t...

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Sara Johnson - Snowshoeing Holiday

January 2014

I enjoyed the trip very much due to the quality of the people - organisers, guides and other guests - and the walks - va...

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Stephen and Alison - Snowshoeing Holiday

January 2014

Bernard guiding us on snow shoe treks for four days was great. He knowledgeably chose areas with good snow and likelihoo...

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Directions

The nearest train station is Gap. Gap is on the SNCF train service which has links from Paris (overnight sleeper), Valence, Grenoble or Marseille.

The nearest airports are Grenoble, Lyon and Marseille, both approximately 2.5hrs drive from us here in the Alps.

Throughout the winter the local ski resorts are also served with a regular snow bus from Marseille airport.

We can arrange local transfers from Gap train station or the local ski resorts for 50€ per transfer (up to 8 people per transfer).

Please ask us about getting here when you enquire - we have become somewhat expert on accessing this beautiful hidden gem of the Alps and can help you plan your journey!!


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